Friday, June 24, 2011
Day 5, Poas Volcano, Masks, and Salsa Party
Written by Julia Rippel
Edited by Mr. Moreland
I haven´t had much time to post, but I´ve been having a lot of fun so far. Today we went to the Poas volcano and talked with a geologist named Rodolfo Van der Laat.
It was a long drive up to the volcano, but I kept myself busy by taking pictures and filming the scenery. We drove through a ton of coffee plantations which later gave way to milk farms (many of which were associated with Dos Pinos).
When we finally arrived, we hiked uphill through the cloud forest. It was really amazing, because we saw so many plants and trees that were totally different from the ones in the forests of Pennsylvania. One example was the poor man´s umbrella (the layman´s term for the plant), which had enormous leaves.
We saw two craters, which had both filled with water and become lakes. There was steam coming off of the first one, and there wasn´t any greenery on the rocky slopes all around it. You could also smell the sulfur. The second one was larger, and there was a lot of greenery on the surrounding slopes.
Talking with Rodolfo Van der Laat was really interesting, because you could tell he really enjoyed his job. He showed us where the ground on the overlook physically bulges when there´s an eruption coming. Also, while we were sitting and interviewing him, several small, green and black birds came right up to our feet. (I guess they were really used to people).
Later we talked to a man who makes traditional masks. He showed us his workshop and told us the process behind making the masks. He talked about his life in general as well and how he began to make masks. Some of the masks had full bodies to go with them, and he explained how these are used in parades during local festivals. He showed us how they dance during the parades, and let some of the students and teachers try them on and dance too. He also let three students sculpt some clay into the base for the masks.
That night, we had a dance party with our pen pals at the high school here in Costa Rica. Although conversation was kind of halting, it did occur. We dragged some of the Costa Rican boys onto the dance floor, and some of them helped us with our salsa moves. I was happy to practice the salsa, and I kind of learned the meringue from Matt, our guide. All in all, I had a lot of fun today.